Trying to lure us over

This news report from 2007 revealed the desperate state of Israel’s Jewish population:

In Israel, the number of emigrants exceeded the number of immigrants for the first time in 20 years, the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported Friday.

Many emigrants were recent arrivals who wanted to leave Israel again, the report said. In 2007, 14,400 immigrants are expected in Israel while 20,000 people are expected to leave the country, according to the report based on figures for the first months of 2007.

The last time emigration exceeded immigration was in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and in 1983 and 1984 when inflation was high.

Meanwhile the Maariv newspaper reported that approximately a quarter of the Israeli population was considering emigration.

Almost half of the country’s young people were thinking of leaving the country, the report said. Their reasons included dissatisfaction with the government, the education system, a lack of confidence in the political ruling class and concern over the security situation.

The message? Zionism has singularly failed to convince new generations of Jews to move to the country. Many…  Diaspora Jews prefer to offer support from the sidelines but wouldn’t care to live in the state itself. And who can blame them?

So what is this Israeli columnist doing to arrest the trend? Trying to convince Europeans that it’s 1933, anti-Semitism is everywhere and the Jewish state will provide protection from the oldest hatred:

Leave the continent that fondly recalls its anti-Semitism; we in Israel need you. The addition of hundreds of thousands of wealthy Jews will boost Israel, end the illusions of any Israeli Arabs who dream about a demographic victory, and make Israel’s economic supremacy absolute. You, who will be arriving in Israel now, will turn it not into one of the world’s 20 wealthiest countries – this has already been achieved – but rather, one of the 10 richest countries on the globe.

You have a homeland, so why should you agree to be second-class citizens? Why should you be scared to show that you are Jewish? Why should you be attacked at subway stations at night?

It’s pathetic in its parochialism and is destined to fail. Western assimilation, inter-marriage, anger at the occupation and Jewish racism and refusal to accept an ethno-centric nation are all contributing to Israel’s decline.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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